I have had a wonderful year seeking connection.

WHY? would I seek connection with horses.

I can only give an answer based on my perception of connection with horses and how it feels for me.

WHY?  why would we seek connection with our horse? When I first entered into the whr program it was for a reason, I couldn’t depend on my horse and little did I realise she couldn’t depend on me! I could train her to a point however we always hit resistance eventually. Once on the whr path things changed, I still had my interest in classical dressage. Riding along with ground work was getting softer and easier as we continued our journey into The Waterhole Rituals. Connection was wonderful when I felt it and we grew closer all the time trust and willingness was building. I could have continued with a much more trainable horse.

Something spoke to me to seek more, as I went along I changed and as I changed so did my perception of connection. I have learnt from my horses what a true deep connection is, it is the same as the connection they share with one another words are not needed and we flow in unity.

It could be they were offering this all along and I missed it or could it be they felt a disconnect in me? When we seek connection with our horse not only do we connect with their true nature we discover our own. Not only do we build a working bond with our horse where they read our mind, listen to our thoughts and want to be in our company, they enter into the training we bring to them with enthusiasm. We start to enjoy connection with them just because it feels so good.

I have had a fabulous year in 2017 and have had the privilege to work with wonderful people and horses. My good friend Linda Salinas came over from America twice and we had two wonderful clinics, growing the  whr community.

Habil all smiles.

I have traveled to Wales, Dorset, Somerset, Devon, Kent, Cornwall and to a wonderful regular group near London in Surrey. I have clinics and private lessons booked for next year  please check my events page. I can’t wait to bring more horses and their humans ways to find deeper connection.  I made a new friend in Jenny Rolfe and spent a wonderful time with her and her horses,  I am now riding in her bitless bridle and my horses love it. With Habil at Jenny’s, I felt a strong connection. I am working on getting Jenny up here to Somerset next year.

I am looking forward to improving our ridden work with Joyce Mulder and Peter Maddison Greenwell next year too.

In the summer Carolyn Resnick made me a certified Instructor in her method, Carolyn has taught me so much and still does, she is a wonderful women and extremely talented horsewomen. I will continue to work closely with Carolyn and Linda to learn and share this magical experience of the Waterhole Rituals.

Thank you to every one for your support and for seeking a relationship based on the bond, trust, mutual respect, willingness and focus. Thank you for being prepared to listen and learn from the horses and for allowing me to learn from you and your horses too. It has been incredible to watch things blossom and grow. See you next year!

Jayne x

Bits, Bridles, Whips, sticks, Reeds, Food, Clickers, Bitless, Bareback, Saddles, Boots, Bandages,Halters,Ropes, liberty and all manner of stuff!

Phew! I am sure I could find more STUFF if I tried.

I have no objection to any of this stuff, I believe every person and every horse is an individual, every situation is different as well, what we have learnt along the way and how we listen, or not, to what our horse likes all has an impact on the ‘stuff’ we may feel we need.

Recently I have been riding bitless again, I used to ride Noons bitless and then we used a bit, we settled on a bit she was happy with, she had her opinions about snaffles, they were to be jangled and played with and they moved too much for her.  I experimented from time to time with halters, a cavesson and a sidepull all bitless options she always felt like she wasn’t taking riding seriously and would go a bit downhill, calm, steering fine, stopping fine, but just not proud.

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A year or so ago experimenting with a snaffle

I decided this time that as always it could be me !!!! maybe I just needed to work harder on me and not worry about her. We have stuck with this and we have learnt that we can do the ‘serious’ dressage attempting stuff ridden in our new bitless bridle. She tells me she is happy with this.

Today I asked her, can you carry me in the Bareback pad ? I think it might help me to check my balance, I know I need to hinder you as little as possible. She was happy with this although I don’t believe it’s good for her back to do this all the time. The tack I had on was just the stuff that felt right today.

Above all else there is one piece of stuff we have always known is the key to everything we do, so no matter what other stuff you use or don’t use, as of course it can all be done with no stuff.  Apart from this one most important thing……….. Whatever you do whatever you use make sure you do it with this important, most important STUFF. You will have to watch the video and listen to the words to find out…..

Wishing you all a lot of fun, love, and horsey happiness, whatever stuff you use and do. Jayne x

In Conversation with Maya and Noonoo.

I would love to share a conversation that happened between Maya and myself. Noons joined in the next day too.

Firstly this is how I see the difference between having a conversation with my horses and presenting them with a monologue.

A conversation is an exchange of thoughts, feelings, ideas and information. Questions are asked and answered. We take turns to communicate and listen. It is a two way exchange.

A Monologue is where one person speaks, they don’t stop to listen it is one way traffic of communication. If we have this kind of communication with our horse we will miss the joy of the conversation.

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Our conversation went like this,

Me   I think you are feeling a little full of energy today, lets harness it and influence you to move around a bit.

Maya  Yes I enjoy moving and feeling my power, however I remember when I came to the mounting block yesterday at liberty I got a carrot, I am smart and I like carrots as you influence me past the mounting block I feel drawn to go behind it and stop hopefully you will get me a carrot.

Me   laughing at how clever she is, oh my word how sweet!!! but hang on I didn’t ask for this, lets pause a second. Never look a gift horse in the mouth? or…Maya is avoiding what we are doing. HHHmmmmm I had to go with what my intuition was telling me, which was sometimes it has to be my idea sometimes hers and it felt like it should be mine.

Me  Well I think we should carry on with what we were doing, but thank you clever girl!

Maya   Oh we are having a different conversation today and I can express how I am feeling about that.

We played together with Maya letting me know she had noticed that I had noticed her ploy to get carrots. She had a good trot and canter around and I asked her to come in and we trotted together, her following my lead. Walking when I walked, stopping when I stopped. Then we had a pause and I followed her lead.

Maya mounting block

Maya soft ,relaxed and focused.

After her leading me back to the mounting block, which was fine as we both knew she was leading now.  She was much softer much more relaxed in her posture than the first time. I stood on the mounting block.

Our conversation continued.

Me How would feel about coming closer, close enough for me to mount.

Maya  Well give me a moment to work it out. Oh ok you are staying put up there and asking me to come over, I can do that.

At first she stepped away but only just, I stayed where I was and asked her to come back around, she did! This was feeling like a fun conversation. After this she happily accepted the tack and we continued our conversation with her letting me know when she was ready to finish riding.

The next day I took the tack to the arena, and both girls. My idea was maybe to see how Maya felt about riding with company. We shared territory, I played with them both a little at liberty, they were relaxed and it felt like all three of us were connected.  Maya let me know she was happy about riding and it was by far the most relaxed she has ever been, she didn’t try to go to Noons and went into the areas of the arena which before had been too stressful under saddle she did this willingly without any lead from Noons. She even weaved around cones which we had done at liberty.

I had underestimated how connected Maya was to me and thought she would choose to follow Noons the fact that she took me to the areas she had not wanted to go to and to even start to allow me to influence her in riding was a huge step in our ridden relationship.

After I got off beaming from ear to ear! and so proud of Maya, I took the tack off and both girls were allowed to roll. Noonoo went over to Maya’s tack and was asking me ” Is it my turn at last?” She was covered in sand and I didn’t have her tack, she came to the mounting block, moved closer and I just had a quick sandy sit on her at liberty and rewarded her with some carrots. I let her know she had done an important job too.

Had I not followed what Maya’s body language was telling me the first day and had tried to work on mounting with her I feel she would have left me after all she has the choice she was at liberty. Her desire to choose my leadership grew she saw that I could lead  and follow.  I have no doubt she was pleased that I noticed her trying to take the lead. Horses do generally like to follow a leader who knows when they need to lead and when to follow. All part of our conversations, she is a great teacher.

Building  relationships requires conversations. Happy horsey chats, Jayne.

 

The road to riding being the choice of our horse.

When I rode horses before learning from Carolyn Resnick and the Waterhole Rituals I tried to be the best I could be I was always trying to learn and improve. I tried to be a feeling rider and consider the horse. Did I ever think of giving the horse the freedom of real choice? No. I had never encountered anyone who really did.

The greatest feeling a horse can give us is true magnetic connection, the kind of connection they share with close herd/family members. When we cultivate this connection, allowing ourselves to ‘feel’ it, it becomes something so powerful. We truly become one with our horse this is when the bond, trust, respect, willingness and focus is in complete balance and a 50-50 relationship is alive.

This is when for some reason, that I still marvel at, a horse will offer us his/her back in freedom, at liberty and simply from the connection we share, it needs no training it is a gift from our horse to us. Our language is understood by each other and we have a deep shared trust. Noo noo wants to be close to me and seeks companionship with me. I still feel a lump in my throat at what she offers, I am always grateful , when she started to offer to let me ride at liberty it was so clear, she positioned herself for me to get on and we felt connected in the same way we do from the ground. I did no training for this, we didn’t practice coming to the mounting block and me giving cues or aids, which would have been fine and is what I thought I would need to do. However none of this was needed, I simply walked to the mounting block with her and asked her how she felt about it, I asked for her to come closer and she clearly offered her back.

Noo noo is not what you would call a steady low energy horse, she is a hot blooded Lusitano with bullfighting bloodlines, she has her wild spirit intact, if we didn’t share the relationship we do it would be reckless to think of riding her at liberty. She used to be pretty expressive about how she felt I should change! Thankfully I found Carolyn Resnick.

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We have traveled a long way together and this is not a connection built overnight, the road has been bumpy at times, to experience what I have with her in my lifetime is something that inspires me every day.

If you wish to experience the same magic that horses can bring to us don’t give up, just enjoy the ride. Be patient and keep growing your relationship, grow the bonds between you and your horse at every opportunity.

When your horse whispers, listen harder.

Recently I visited with many dear friends in Surrey, it was our last clinic of the year. I will of course be there for support all through the winter, we have had a tremendous year. Many big changes in horses and humans and it has been a delight to be part of this.

There were new challenges to work on through the winter and new partnerships who have a good start. I am so pleased that there are also online course for my students to join for support through the winter with, The Chair Challenge, you can find it here https://carolyn-resnick-method.teachable.com/p/the-chair-challenge . Also the online Liberty horse Academy which is here. https://libertyhorseacademy.com/

The second day of the clinic there was a session with Oscar, he came the first day with his owner Debbie Williams who has built an amazing relationship with Oscar, when we first met I wasn’t sure that she would as Carolyn puts it ” surrender to the process” She did ! she took a big step and put aside other training to fully enter The Waterhole Rituals. What a year she and Oscar have had, coming to Linda’s clinic in June and being crowned a queen! She deserves the crown.

On the second day her sharer for Oscar came and I have to say I have worked with Mara and Oscar and what a gem Debbie has found in her as a person to share her horse with. We sat together and shared territory, someone bought over a cup of tea for me so I approached the fence, as I stood for a moment I felt Oscar behind me, he gently nuzzled my back, as I turned to him I felt the need to release my jaw and soften my tongue! Where did that come from? Oscar did the same, I put myself into a state of neutral something that once was not easy for me, or for Carolyn to teach me, but she did! I stood with an open quiet mind and Oscar kept releasing and yawning. I felt he was saying that he knew me and was happy I was listening but that was it.

I re-joined Mara as I watched Oscar he looked relaxed except for his nostrils and lips, there was something but I couldn’t say what. His communication was very quiet.

We started Mara’s session and she has built a good connection with Oscar, he will say hello and companion walk with her, but today he had more to say. I asked Mara if we could just give over leadership to him, he is respectful and polite, so I felt that this would be fine. There are times to lead and times to follow and listen harder. Maybe this was his lesson for us. We followed Oscar going where he went but never with any influence over him, just to be with him, when he ate we ate, when he shook we shook, we listened waiting. he did a lot of yawning and releasing every time he did we did too. we started to enjoy following Oscar’s lead and seeing what he wanted to do.

After some time Oscar seemed like whatever he had been needing to release had gone his posture changed and his nostrils and lips relaxed. Mara had a great session with him the connection he gave her felt so soft and so loving you could see and feel it. I explained it like this, when you have a bad phone signal and the line crackles you can’t enjoy the richness of the conversation as much as you can when the signal is strong. Their connection was strong!  for taking the time and not minding about performance she grew that connection in a short time and Oscar was ready to offer more than if we had not listened harder.

Releasing and yawning with Oscar.23113183_10213239221627900_557291734_o (1)

 

I am an addict.

I have to finally own up to it, horses are my addiction, it is becoming difficult to live a normal life, today was earmarked for housework, washing, cleaning, paying some bills. None of which has been done!

I fear my condition may be about to get far worse, Joyce is here tonight so more horses will be here tomorrow for lessons.  It gets even worse next week Linda Salinas arrives!!

Then 3 full days among others like myself I may be lost forever after this, I could be found living in a field just to be around them even longer. Today the sun was shining and the company was beautiful.

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These two along with Tarquin are the main reason for this condition today they kept drawing me to stay longer with them, it was hard to leave but all hope is not lost I did eventually get hungry and grass was never going to do it, I had to come in for some lunch. Next time I must prepare a picnic!

laying down

 

Beware of this condition there is no cure, it can be life enhancing and addictive.

Have a great weekend.

Life coaches, Guru’s, Therapy and Store cards.

Strange title for a blog about horses?? More and more people are awakening to a different way of being, more and more are searching for that elusive thing called mindfulness or being present or spirituality. There are many guides out there and many who want to be of assistance to humanity.

I have been most fortunate that the horses led me to this path, I wasn’t searching for anything, I knew nothing of finding who I truly am and what my purpose in life was. I have always been very accepting of wherever I am in life.

My husband jokes, when asked by non horsey friends about his wife’s ‘expensive’ hobby. He tells them, ” Its way cheaper than therapy or a store card!” There is a lot of truth here!

Horses are masters of living in the present, they are masters of showing us our true nature. My horses led me on a path which was very unexpected. They led me to find Carolyn Resnick and The Waterhole Rituals. This has been truly life changing for me, I have learnt more about myself than horses even. This is what has led me to want to share this with others, it is my deep desire to share the things that have empowered me as a person and to help others find this path, with love and joy in my heart, I hope it is infectious we certainly need to feel more of it in our world today. In our busy lives filled with thoughts of the past and future the horses are always here to assist us. My horses are my therapists, guides, gurus and life coaches they know the personal journey I have been on, they feel it when my mind becomes distracted and they bring me back. I love all that they bring to my world, dancing at liberty, riding, but most of all reminding me who I am and showing me peace.

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Through what Carolyn Resnick and Linda Salinas have shared with me, I feel empowered I am so grateful for the chance to connect with many people and horses I would never have met.  Growing a sense of community, friendship and support. Here surrounded by mountains and cold Welsh weather. sharing a moment of fun too. I wish you all peace and harmony after all this is what the horses look for in their lives and it’s a great example for humanity.

Horses can enjoy a new challenge and teach us to slow up.

Sometimes when I am with my horses they feel like they are up for trying something new, today I set up an obstacle course, it was based on the one used in Working Equitation, I made a jump out of hay bales and had 3 barrels in a triangle to work around, a pen to go in and around and an L shape of poles to go into and back out of, another pole on the ground was to go sideways over. Both the girls were really good and I worked them together, each taking turns to work around the course. I didn’t tackle this from their backs like a rider competing in Working Equitation would, we started as we normally do at liberty.

Thanks to the bond and relationship we share I was able to work safely with 2 horses sharing the arena and we certainly did have some fun. Carolyn Resnick’s method helps us to build a strong bond like horses would share together, as well as a working bond where our horse wants to please us.  In the past I have had a little jump with Noo noo and she always seemed a bit unimpressed by this. Today she flew over the hay bales. We did have to set a boundary over eating them, once this was understood we were fine. Here is a clip of the master of W.E Pedro Torres. I do admire the skill needed by both horse and rider.

Don’t ever be afraid to have some fun, once you have the working bond built at liberty using the Waterhole Rituals you know when and how to ask and your horse likes this and says YES!

After our work out, I spent some time grooming with the grooming gloves both girls love this, both of them decided when it was time to stop grooming, slow up and just breath. They put their muzzle next to my face and we both take long slow breaths and enjoy being, they ask for this slow time and they bring me a sense of peace.

More lessons from the horses about different ways to find the entry point of connection.

Last weekend I returned to Surrey and Kent it was a great weekend and as always the horses bring the lessons we need in the moment. Lots of great sessions and connections, new to the group on Saturday were Holly and Carla who both  already shared great relationships with their horses, they both experienced a very different and deeper way to connect at liberty. Holly is expecting a baby and her lovely horse beks sniffed her little bump several times, he was very focused on her and I think they will enjoy this time to deepen the bond working at liberty together. Carla’s mare Joste was a bit unsettled and was surprised when I checked that we could request that she move, if a horse is unsettled I will try to find the entry point of connection for them and a way to settle them, if this is not possible we will not work with the horse. I felt she was more interested in me when I made a request of her, even if it was one which was new to her. This helped her to settle and soon she was safe for Carla to work with. Carla is an experienced horsewomen and did a wonderful job it was rather emotional for all watching. Once that entry point of connection was gained Joste responded beautifully. Sharing a close connection with Carla. The pair had never worked at liberty before. It is beautiful to see what our horses are ready to offer sometimes.

Aprils cheeky gypsy cob Shamus was showing us he was interested in being cheeky and also exploring anything he could find, he was not focused and was very busy, for him the entry point of connection was finding neutral for himself and April, once this was achieved they had a beautiful harmonious connection.

Nina and Fred have a long tale to tell which I hope she will share here one day, this weekend the ‘goal’ that she had once wanted, and Fred had shown her needed to be dropped was realised. Now being grateful for Fred and loving him just for being him, sharing territory and living in the moment with him has gifted her with a close relationship. A true working bond has grown between them now.

Unable to ride or lunge Fred, Nina found the Waterhole Rituals and this weekend her lovely Spanish horse who did not want someone on his back came to the mounting block and when he moved closer to offer Nina his back, well lets just say the tissues weren’t far away. For all of us. He had a choice and showed clearly the things he was choosing. Nina has entered a new world and notices his messages and gives him freedom to choose.

Nina enjoying sharing territory with Fred.

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Experience all of life to it’s fullest.

Today some of my family and I went for a walk to the woods. It was lovely to feel the sun on my face and see the trees laden with leaves, the path overgrown like a mini jungle, the birds in the sky and abundance of life all around. To enjoy all of life to the fullest is very much like being a child again, today Maisie and Lily enjoyed climbing a tree, they really enjoyed it and were very much in the moment of tree climbing.
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As we walked back we took a route which went along a tall thick hedge between two fields, the horses were the other side of the hedge, they could hear our voices and as I spoke Maya called to me! I answered her and she called again, it was not time for them to come in. When we got back we climbed through a gate and there waiting outside the stables was Maya, she knew we would be heading towards where she was waiting. The horses have the freedom to go down to the field or to come in to the stables for part of the day. Maya had decided she wanted to check in and say hello,she had gone around a route away from us and out of her way to simply come and see us,then once she saw us walk off towards the house she went back out. It is this level of connection and relationship that never fails to amaze me and make me feel humble before these incredible creatures, this is guidance from the horse in how to live connected and in harmony and that is what I wish for everyone to experience. They are always ready to share this with us, sometimes already very connected waiting for us to acknowledge it. Sometimes I think they are unsure about offering this connection to us humans through never having the relationship with a human that they needed. Maya was like this, unsure that I was truly ready to be the person she needed me to be, having found myself and my connection to all of life, of course the connection with her grew and now she knows she can experience this with other humans too.

The Waterhole Rituals,  and connections with Carolyn Resnick and Linda Salinas are the influence’s for me, that have changed forever my experience of life with my horses, but not just horses, all of life.